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Julien SkrobekDouble-entendre

something has gone horribly wrong 8-p
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guitars and electronics
recorded in paris, may-june 2008


free software

painting: Miguel Prado

This audio is part of the collection: Taumaturgia
It also belongs to collection: Netlabels

Artist/Composer: Julien Skrobek
Keywords: julien skrobek; taumaturgia; free software; anti-copyright

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Reviewer: Taumaturgia - - July 2, 2009
Subject: Reviews
Wherein Skrobek takes a cue or two from Sugimoto but heads out in an oblique direction. On the first of two tracks, guitar strums isolated in space nod to Taku but the strums are far more colorful and the intervening space, though often silent, is inhabited by gassy rumbles and electronic bleeps. I get something of a slowly whirling constellation image, four or five elements wheeling into "view", but in a complicate manner, their rhythms not divisible into one another so the entrance of each from the darkness is a surprise. The second is sparser, made up of a handful of electronic sounds (plus the odd, pretty guitar strum), again each circling to the fore, alone or in unpredictable combinations. Something very nice, very unforced about the way Skrobek feeds the elements into the mix; the space between attains a plasticity of sorts. Very thoughtful, very good work.

Brian Olewnick (


Julien Skrobek’s work is not destined to generate chasms in the rock of EAI, yet the French experimenter keeps maintaining a reasonably steady release schedule, alternating records that leave practically no trace in the memory, to comparatively intriguing episodes where a superior degree of commitment and, consequently, deeper layers of implication are noticeable.

Double-Entendre belongs to a category situated in the middle of these extremes. Entirely conceived on guitars and electronics, the CD is almost exactly halved, one track clocking at twenty minutes, the second just 29 seconds longer. In each of the parts we’re subjected to similar recipes, the composer shifting positions between the elements and slightly elaborating the different timbres but, basically, deploying them as in a single score. The mainly recognizable features are to all intents and purposes three: extremely lean guitar chords – more or less processed, occasionally bathed in weak tremolo, in general privileging the higher registers – appearing like the head of a peeping kid suddenly zipping away as one, intent in personal activities, becomes aware of that presence. Then a series of electronic frequencies, mostly of the whisper-and-hiss kind, with the exception of a splendidly whoo-ing murmur heard in the first chapter. The third, and obvious, constituent is silence, not excessively stretched yet present in relatively abundant doses. Luckily, Skrobek avoids Sugimoto-inspired exaggeration in that sense, not leaving as much of space for the mind to roam (and possibly think “I’m being fooled”). Although definitely not sparkling with emotional magnetism, the record does not overstay its welcome, presenting good correspondence and stability between the factors and sufficient enjoyability, both as a (simple) exercise in deep listening and as a complementary furnishing of the environment. The sources are satisfactorily fit together although sequenced without excessive meticulousness, the resulting overall mix pleasurable and natural-sounding in certain combinations, rather empty in others.

A non-invasive piece of work offering music with a roughly sketched direction and adequate sense of spacing, not impressive to the point of uncorking bottles but probably designed to be precisely so.

Massimo Ricci - Bagatellen (


"double-entendre". Qu'y a-t-il à entendre? Un "presque rien" ,un corps infime, une herbe vibrant au vent, un "soupçon" de musique. Julien SKROBEK , comme Taku Sugimoto, évoque les mots vides de Beckett, leur autonomie, pur point sur une page blanche, aporie littéraire, ici musicale. Qu'y a t-il à entendre? "Nothing" dirait Beckett (grand amateurde variété, Feldman l'embarrassait si on en croit Nick Tosches) .Ce rien n'est pas un simple vide, mais plutôt un non vouloir, presque zen , juste s'ouvrir aux sons qui apparaissent et disparaissent , les laisser seuls , ne pas les figer dans une construction intellectuelle, le blues déjà. On arrête la branlette intellectuelle du chroniqueur pour dire ce beau disque comme Sugimoto peut en faire parfois, disque dans le peu, le moins, la note pour elle-même, sa façon de vibrer jusqu'à nous . Guitare et électronique (synonyme dans l'impro de fréquences blanches), je complèterai : guitare, électronique et silence. Le silence y prend une grande place , donne la couleur, le mood polaire, notes givrées, arrêtées dans ces vastes aplats blancs. Dès lors chaque note y prend un joli relief obligeant l'auditeur à la reconnaître pour la reconstruire plus loin avec celle qui la suit. Les bruits de la rue ou ceux de nos demeures électroniques entrent dans cette composition "Double-entendre" , outside/inside se mêlant, écoute trouble ou plutôt troublante , s'accrochant parfois à une blue note perdue là, peut-être pas. Pour certains il s'agira peut-être d'un exercice à la manière "onkyo", pour moi plus sûrement d'une façon d'habiter la musique, de s'absenter aux " bruits pornographiques" de la musique mainstream ,ou peut-être plus humblement de mettre celle-ci en relief , lui redonner un sens perdu. SKROBEK apparaît avec Taku Unami comme un digne héritier de cette famille onkyo.

Michel Henritzi - Revue et corrigée juin 2009

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